Scientists admit mistake! The universe's age isn't 13.7 billion years!

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

NightmareWarden:
*snip*

Big Crunch is... aesthetically pleasing, if that's the right phrase, because it lends itself to a cyclical process: Expansion, crunch, expansion, crunch, renewal of an infinite universe.
But the heat death appears to make more sense, honestly. We are not aware of outside energy entering this system that is the universe, the universe continues to expand itself further and further and localized energy will spread out more evenly. It's less poetic but more realistic.

Seems scientists have re calibrated a number based upon new information fed into existing calculations based upon hypothesis. Seems a topic too big for humans to ever really know what they're talking about.

For Religion (creationalists) it is easy. If their religion tells them pigs fly if it is meant to be, you end up with pork in the trees if it is to be so, regardless of our current zoology info.

Gorfias:
Seems scientists have re calibrated a number based upon new information fed into existing calculations based upon hypothesis. Seems a topic too big for humans to ever really know what they're talking about.

For Religion (creationalists) it is easy. If their religion tells them pigs fly if it is meant to be, you end up with pork in the trees if it is to be so, regardless of our current zoology info.

You were likely attempting to be witty. It failed horribly.

Shadowstar38:

Gorfias:
Seems scientists have re calibrated a number based upon new information fed into existing calculations based upon hypothesis. Seems a topic too big for humans to ever really know what they're talking about.

For Religion (creationalists) it is easy. If their religion tells them pigs fly if it is meant to be, you end up with pork in the trees if it is to be so, regardless of our current zoology info.

You were likely attempting to be witty. It failed horribly.

I was making a real analysis based upon the topic. Did you understand what I wrote and have a counter point?

Third-eye:

Redingold:

Verbatim:

WIMP's are not "candidates", they are a proposed solution for dark matter, they are also not predicted by the standard model.
The issue with WIMP's is that one of the premises for the standard model is the Electroweak Force(or interaction), which unified both forces(The Weak Force and Electromagnetism) into a singular field. This means that when you can interact with the classical "weak" force, you also have to be able to interact with the classical "electromagnetism" AKA light.

In what way are "candidate" and "proposed solution" different? They mean the same thing.

The Standard Model is known to be incomplete, as it does not explain gravitation, neutrino masses, dark matter, matter-antimatter asymmetry and it gives values for dark energy that are wrong by 120 orders of magnitude (which is bad even by the standards of cosmology) so whether it predicts the existence of other particles or not makes no difference.

As for the electroweak force, that only appears at high energy levels. At lower temperatures, symmetry breaking means that its entirely possible for a particle to feel one and not the other. The thing responsible for the symmetry breaking is the Higgs mechanism, which was observed last year.

Actually the scientific community is eagerly awaiting an important paper, due out any day now, on dark matter. The paper is the first published results of an eighteen year long experiment conducted by the 2 billion dollar instrument known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which is bolted onto the International Space Station. The AMS surveys the skies for high-energy particles, or cosmic rays. The experiment might confirm that dark matter is made of WIMPs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21495800

That's interesting, thank you for the link.

Skeleon:

Big Crunch is... aesthetically pleasing, if that's the right phrase, because it lends itself to a cyclical process: Expansion, crunch, expansion, crunch, renewal of an infinite universe.

i.e., the Big Bounce. Yeah I always had a soft spot in my heart for the Bounce because it fits with Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence. But Recurrence assumes that each bounce is exactly like the one before, such that my morning coffee is the coffee I had infinite times in the past and will be the same infinite times in the future. Given the uncertainty principle that hardly seems likely.

Skeleon:

But the heat death appears to make more sense, honestly. We are not aware of outside energy entering this system that is the universe, the universe continues to expand itself further and further and localized energy will spread out more evenly. It's less poetic but more realistic.

Well it did until now. Prior measurements suggested the universe is expaning at an ever increasing rate, which strongly suggests a Heat Death, Big Freeze, or even a Big Rip. But the most interesting thing coming from the new Planck data is not the revised age of the universe, but that it show there is less dark energy and more matter, both normal and dark matter, in the universe than previously thought. Absent an imbalance of dark energy, the universe could expands forever at a constant rate, avoiding all death scenarios. But I believe the universe is dynamic, the cosmic equilibrium can be upset in either direction, if it hasn't happened already, and its the duty and burden of all transcendent like-forms to maintain and restore the balance.

How do we know the Universe hasn't just had its 13.8 billionth birthday?

Third-eye:
But the most interesting thing coming from the new Planck data is not the revised age of the universe, but that it show there is less dark energy and more matter, both normal and dark matter, in the universe than previously thought. Absent an imbalance of dark energy, the universe could expands forever at a constant rate, avoiding all death scenarios.

I'm not sure I understand that consequence. Even if the universe continues to expand at a constant rate, wouldn't the localized energy still spread out? Metabolisms and chemical reactions eventually end? Why would this prevent a heat death scenario of maximum entropy? It's obvious if a contraction were a possible result of the new findings since then new compression and localization could occur, but I don't quite follow the above. Can you elaborate a bit on that?

Skeleon:

Third-eye:
But the most interesting thing coming from the new Planck data is not the revised age of the universe, but that it show there is less dark energy and more matter, both normal and dark matter, in the universe than previously thought. Absent an imbalance of dark energy, the universe could expands forever at a constant rate, avoiding all death scenarios.

I'm not sure I understand that consequence. Even if the universe continues to expand at a constant rate, wouldn't the localized energy still spread out? Metabolisms and chemical reactions eventually end? Why would this prevent a heat death scenario of maximum entropy? It's obvious if a contraction were a possible result of the new findings since then new compression and localization could occur, but I don't quite follow the above. Can you elaborate a bit on that?

Well, it has been suggested that in an expanding universe, the value of maximum entropy increases faster than the universe can produce entropy, causing the universe to move progressively further away from heat death. I don't quit understand it all myself.

But you are correct, the conventional wisdom is that even a "flat" universe that continues to expand indefinitely, all be it gradually, is generally still subject to heat death. The difference being only that it take longer for the universe to approach absolute zero temperature and a state of maximal entropy.

My thought is that in a gradually expanding universe there is more time for the formation of supermassive black holes, far larger than anything we have detected. Their immense warping of space-time could alter the expanding force and perhaps prevent thermal equilibrium. Perhaps this is too simplistic. Even so, the estimated decay time of supermassive black holes would itself extend the life of the universe, if not prevent its death. But then again supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to entropy. So..., not sure how that all works out.

Perhaps, to be consistent with the second law of thermodynamics, the only way to prevent maximum entropy in this universe is to tap energy of another universe, i.e., to open the system up.

Third-eye:
The difference being only that it take longer for the universe to approach absolute zero temperature and a state of maximal entropy.

I see. That makes sense, yes.

My thought is that in a gradually expanding universe there is more time for the formation of supermassive black holes, far larger than anything we have detected. Their immense warping of space-time could alter the expanding force and perhaps prevent thermal equilibrium. Perhaps this is too simplistic. Even so, the estimated decay time of supermassive black holes would itself extend the life of the universe, if not prevent its death. But then again supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to entropy. So..., not sure how that all works out.

Yes, and while I said earlier that my understanding of cosmology is lay-level at best, don't black holes eject matter and energy as well? These "jets" that we see in astronomical approximations of black holes and other super massive objects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_jet)? While I could certainly believe that such phenomena could slow down achieving maximum entropy - after all, they'd be massive localized matter and energy assortments rather than more evenly spread-out stuff - from my understanding it could not prevent it from happening.

Perhaps, to be consistent with the second law of thermodynamics, the only way to prevent maximum entropy in this universe is to tap energy of another universe, i.e., to open the system up.

That's my understanding, yes. Although I guess if multiple universe hypotheses are correct, that would be... "possible" to happen?

Skeleon:

Yes, and while I said earlier that my understanding of cosmology is lay-level at best, don't black holes eject matter and energy as well? These "jets" that we see in astronomical approximations of black holes and other super massive objects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_jet)? While I could certainly believe that such phenomena could slow down achieving maximum entropy - after all, they'd be massive localized matter and energy assortments rather than more evenly spread-out stuff - from my understanding it could not prevent it from happening.

Well, how massive does it need to get before its more than localized?

Skeleon:

That's my understanding, yes. Although I guess if multiple universe hypotheses are correct, that would be... "possible" to happen?

Well, of course if there are other universes, and we're advanced enough to tap into them, it might be easier to simply move there, or perhaps a better solution might be to create our own universe, custom made.

Some closing thoughts:

The universe may not be a closed system. It's quite possible that the universe is infinite in size. If so do we need to worry about such things as heat death, big crunch, etc?

Perhaps a big crunch is not the only road to a cyclical universe. Perhaps a heat death is also a precursor to a Big Bang. Consider maximal entropy, where nothing exists except dispersed energy. Where there is no matter, no time or space, perhaps no photons as well. Might it be the same as the primordial quantum vacuum, the scientific equivalent of "nothing"? Might it be the same nothing that science says is filled with the whole machinery of quantum field theory? Might it be the same nothing from which science says the Big Bang burst? And so it begins again.

This idea I so casually tossed out: that we, mere humans, could somehow prevent the heat death of the universe... on the face of it a rather arrogant and presumptuous notion. The forces involved... incredible... beyond incredible... well beyond beyond incredible. It boggles the mind. It also seems rather preposterous; the idea that we, a part of the universe itself, could somehow obtain a point in our evolution that we would be sufficiently "beyond" it, such that we could prevent one of it's (proposed) death mechanisms... But that's what I mean by a transcendent like-form.

There was a time when maned flight and men on the moon seemed arrogant and presumptuous. Now those notion are quite commonplace. That's what we did in 10,000 years of technological progress. What marvels await our progress in another 10,000 years, or a million years, or a billion, or longer.

But of course time means nothing if you don't have the right stuff. And I don't think its too arrogant and presumptuous to say we have the right stuff: the curiosity and desire to expand our limits. This is the most important thing. Because here's the thing about expanding limits, entering the Danger Zone so to speak. As Kenny Loggins says, "You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go."

Third-eye:
Well, how massive does it need to get before its more than localized?

Unless it fills out the entire universe, it's localized. And it will eventually degrade due to entropy as well, I would think, even if it might take unimaginable timespans due to its ability to draw matter and energy back inside.

It's quite possible that the universe is infinite in size. If so do we need to worry about such things as heat death, big crunch, etc?

Yes, I'd assume, since while we may never achieve maximum entropy in an infinite universe, we could absolutely achieve entropy to the degree that life is impossible. Life would die out long before the state of maximum entropy is achieved anyway, if it ever is achieved.
As for the Big Crunch? If the universe is infinite in size? Then probably not.
Although "do we need to worry" is a strange way of phrasing it anyway, since such a heat death will take many, many billions of years to arrive anyway, probably much longer than the universe is old right now, so who knows whether humanity is still around when it happens (and I don't just mean possible extinction *shrug*).

Consider maximal entropy, where nothing exists except dispersed energy. Where there is no matter, no time or space, perhaps no photons as well.

Why wouldn't there be time or space? There'd absolutely need to be space for everything to be evenly distributed throughout, wouldn't there be? This is the first time I hear of the notion of the heat death eliminating time or space. Again, I'm not a pro, but to my understanding the post-heat death universe would be stagnant and life-prohibiting, but not nothingness.

---

All that said, I wouldn't disagree with your general notion of "who knows how far we will come" because it's simply something I can't evaluate. Who knows, indeed.

I do wonder, has any creationist grabbed the headline of an article discussing this and used it as proof that "the Earth is 5000 years old?"

I have seen them use far worse evidence to back up there claims, for example, using a picture out of a creationist text book about a "dinosaur found in African swamp," then claimed it was drawn by the natives (even though the painting was of European style).

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked